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Feds Extend Transportation Mask Mandate, Consider Vaccine Requirement

Peter Rykowski

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The federal government has extended its mask mandate for public transportation, while the Biden administration is considering a vaccination requirement to travel.

On Tuesday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended its mask mandate for all public transportation, including commercial flights, trains, and buses. Originally set to expire on September 14, the mandate is now scheduled to end on January 18, 2022. Meanwhile, a concurrent mask mandate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has no expiration date.

These mandates originally began on January 21, 2021, when President Joe Biden signed an executive order requiring individuals to wear face masks on public transportation. This followed another order, signed the previous day, that mandated masks on federal property.

The CDC wasted no time implementing the order, mandating on January 29 that face masks would be forced upon individuals in “airplanes, ships, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares and at transportation hubs like airports, bus or ferry terminals, train and subway stations and seaports.” There are very few exceptions to this order.

The full force of the executive branch is behind enforcing its mask mandate, except when government officials choose to violate it. Additionally, the CDC and TSA have modified and extended their mask orders multiple times, while other agencies have played minor roles in enforcement.

Not only is the leftist-controlled federal government determined to keep its mask mandates in place, but it is considering increasingly tyrannical mandates. For example, the Biden administration is examining mandating the COVID vaccine for individuals traveling from one state to another. Additionally, Canada has mandated vaccinations for everyone traveling in a plane, train, or cruise ship. It is likely that the United States and other countries will seek to emulate Canada’s policy.


Legislation in Congress

As the federal executive branch creates and extends its unilateral mandates, Congress is considering legislation on this matter.

For example, Representative Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) has introduced H.R. 4980, which would require everybody traveling on a plane to be vaccinated. Similar to Canada’s policy, this bill, if enacted, would amount to a significant setback to medical freedom in the United States and make it nearly impossible for the unvaccinated to do long-distance travel.

On the other side, multiple congressmen are pushing to overturn the executive branch’s mask edicts and restore medical freedom to public transportation. For example, six senators and 16 representatives have introduced the Travel Mask Mandate Repeal Act of 2021, or H.R. 4441 and S. 2337. Additionally, four senators and representatives each have introduced the SMART Act, or H.R. 4041 and S. 2084, which would also void the CDC’s mask orders.

If Congress has any respect for individual freedom and the U.S. Constitution, it will pass the latter four bills. Furthermore, Americans would be wise to follow Senator Rand Paul’s advice and “simply say no” to the various mandates and other restrictions imposed by all levels of government. This is a perilous time for liberty, and it is imperative that patriots take bold, smart, and effective action to prevent a total Marxist/collectivist takeover.

To urge your U.S. representative and senators to protect and restore medical freedom in public transportation, visit The John Birch Society’s legislative alert here.